What is rear end awareness?
Based on what I’ve been reading, I’ve come to understand that Rear end awareness is used to describe dog’s consciousness of his hind leg movement so that he is able to control his hind leg movements on command or as part of an action he is executing, for example when running and jumping though an agility course.
Why practice rear end awareness?
Being able to walk backwards may seem pretty useless to some, but I’m thinking dog dancing seems pretty fun and rear end awareness is pretty key of much of the dog dancing routines we have seen. I know 1stworlddog used to be pretty focused on rear end awareness because Bodhi kept dropping bars during his agility runs as well. So depending on your individual goals and objectives, rear end awareness may not seem such a pointless exercise after all.
Two rear-end awareness exercises
We started rear end awareness exercises and wrote about it here in April and May, and then October. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay consistent with it so if you see the videos below that I’ve just filmed today. It would seem like we hadn’t really made much progress. :P *Ooops*
Walking backwards practice
Teach your dog to walk backwards – video tutorial at Eileen and Dogs
Teach your dog to pivot – video tutorial at Kikopup Youtube
Blogging about it helps me track our *ahem* lack of progress and keeps me honest at least! :P
So we’re going to work harder on these more consistently.
More rear end awareness exercises to try out
Mr N has a list of Five rear end awareness exercises to try out:
- Stepping through a ladder without touching the rungs – we’ve never tried it
- Pivoting – yes, working on it!
- Targeting with back paws – not tried that yet
- Walking backwards – yes, working on it!
- Standing/sitting on tiny objects – sort of working on it as part of doggy parkour :P
We’ve only started on three out of five, so there’s a lot more for Donna and I to explore for sure!
How do you stay motivated to master rear end awareness? What are your goals at the end of the day from working on these exercises with your dog?
The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop occurs on the first Monday of every month. November’s theme is Rear End Awareness but any positive reinforcement training posts are always welcome. You can join the hop here.